How To Soundproof a Gaming Room
When I was younger, I didn’t know much about soundproofing a game room but I loved to play videogames on my PlayStation into the late hours of the night. My parents were accommodating but I always had to keep it down for fear of waking them up.
It wasn’t nearly as fun as playing with the volume fully turned up and I always wished for a way that I could do that.
I’m sure a lot of you are in the same boat- whether it’s a flatmate who needs some peace at home while you play or whether it’s your neighbours who you want to keep happy.
I won’t go into the obvious ones such as reinforcing your walls with insulation and getting soundproof windows- still, there are some pretty easy steps that you can take regardless of your budget.
Here’s what you can do:
Do You Have A Hollow Door?
Lot of people aren’t aware of this, but most homes these days are built with hollow core doors- simply to save costs.
After all, who really checks whether the doors are solid wood or not when buying a house?
If you want to check this at home, go and knock on the door in your room. If it is hollow then it’ll sound diffused, like when you knock on a piece of cardboard. If it’s solid wood, it won’t sound so loud.
You can also ask someone to stand on the other side and talk in a normal tone. If you can clearly comprehend what they’re saying from the other side of the closed door, then it is most probably, a hollow core door.
Reinforcing a hollow core door would be a good idea- of course, if you don’t have any carpentry experience this might be a little bit tough for you. Consider getting a carpenter to do this for you instead.
Getting a door sweep to cover any gaps at the bottom is another thing you should do. In fact you should get some caulk and plug any gaps around the frame for your doors and windows both.
DIYers- Build a Small Panel Behind Your TV With OSB Board
If you are handy with tools then you could consider building your own little soundproof TV panel.
First, you’ll need to get some OSB(Oriented Strand Board). I suggest OSB because it has good soundproofing qualities and is relatively cheap.
Take a good measure of your TV, so that you can buy planks accordingly, and construct a simple square box large enough to go around your PC or TV and completely cover it on all sides- but the front. This should ensure that, as much as possible, sound only travels in one direction- the front.
The only issue I can think of with this little construction is that it might cause some echoes. You could counter that by getting some acoustic foam, cutting it up into small pieces and pasting it on the inside of your box.
Technically Not A Soundproofing Solution: Get A Wireless Bluetooth Headphone
The younger me had none of the above options for soundproofing. The only thing I could think of at that time was getting a wireless headphone.
I would plug in the adapter into my TV, wear the headphones and game away into the long hours of the night without anyone having to stay awake because of it.
So, if after reading the above tips you aren’t feeling particularly inclined to put in the time investment for soundproofing for your game room, this is the cleanest possible solution I can think of.
As for recommendations- this wireless bluetooth headphone on Amazon is a bestseller. It comes with Active Noise Cancellation, that effectively will block any outside noise and give you a peaceful gaming experience.
It comes with an in built mic- really important if you like playing multi-player games and engaging in some banter online.
If you plan to game on your laptop, you’ll be fine with just the headphones, but if you’re gaming on your PC/ TV, you’ll also need to buy a bluetooth transmitter, since TV’s don’t usually have bluetooth capabilities(unless it’s a smart TV)
The transmitter can be plugged into your TV/PC audio jack and paired with the headphones. This one is the most popular bluetooth adapter on Amazon.
Tips For Improving Acoustics In Your Game Room
More than just keeping the sounds in- I believe you also may be interested in improving your gaming experience by improving the acoustics of your game room.
Here are a couple of easy things you can do:
Install Acoustic Curtains Or Moving Blankets
Soundproof curtains help in deadening the sound- they ARE NOT actually ‘soundproof’ – it is just a marketing term, that unfortunately, gets thrown around a lot. You can get a pair of these for about $50 on Amazon.
In case you don’t want to go completely ghetto, then hang some thick, moving blankets over your windows. They’ll look ugly, but they pretty much work the same way as acoustic curtains and give the same sort of results.
Get Some Fabrics
Get some soft fabrics for your Game Room such as sofas(not leather), some rugs and carpets, etc. These help absorb sounds and are a good quick win when you’re trying to soundproof your room.
Just don’t expect drastic results with these- but it definitely should be one of the first steps you take, because it’s SO easy to do.
Stick some acoustic foam on the walls around the TV/ PC
Acoustic foam is used to decrease the echo in a room and enhance the overall acoustics. The room just feels quieter after installing these.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about then go and play some music on your phone in the bathroom- all that sound bouncing off the tiled surfaces reverberates and sounds loud, doesn’t it?
Now, go and play the same phone with the music on inside your cupboard. Does it sound better, softer? That’s because all the soft fabrics don’t allow echoes inside the cupboard.
THIS is exactly what acoustic foam will do as well.
You should try covering as much area on the walls as possible. In order of priority, I would first add acoustic foam panels behind my TV/ PC set and the rest I would stick on to the other walls.
Consider Some Bass Traps
Video games involve of whole array of sounds- gunfire, bazookas, and what not- but that’s what makes it enjoyable for us. However, it can also be an assault on the senses for others.
Which is why you should consider getting some bass traps as well, if you already are buying the acoustic foam I suggested above. These are advertised as acoustic foam but for low frequencies.
They don’t absorb low frequencies however- no foam is good enough for that.
However, I still recommend you buy them because they provide a soft surface that breaks up the sound at the corners of the walls- which is where the echoes are the worst. So they DO work, just not as manufacturers would have you believe.
Plants May Help
Getting a few plants for your room might help, especially those that absorb sound well such as the Peace Lily. This is a nice-to-have addition rather than a must- have, I would say.
It’s important to know the difference between ‘soundproofing your game room’ and just improving acoustics.
There are too many articles online that mix these two up, along with manufacturers that use clever marketing terms to promote acoustics enhancing products as soundproofing solutions.
I would hate for anyone to have a bad experience from following the recommendations on this post, which is why I clearly talked about ‘soundproofing’ and ‘acoustics enhancing’ solutions separately.
Hope you found this post helpful- and if there still are any questions, don’t hesitate to jump into the comments section below!